White spots on the teeth are a common dental complaint. This discoloration is caused by a number of things, including demineralization of the enamel and ingestion of excessive amounts of fluoride. However, most people are more interested in how to deal with the problem so they can get their smiles back. Here are two treatment options for eliminating white spots on your teeth.
One way of dealing with white spots on your smile is to buff them away using dental microabrasion. This procedure is similar to a chemical peel. The dentist applies a chemical solution to the affected teeth and then follows up by gently buffing them with an abrasive tool. This treatment removes up to 0.2mm of enamel, which can help give teeth a more uniform appearance. Sometimes the dentist will follow up with a bleaching or whitening treatment to remove stains and reduce the contrast between the white spots and the surrounding area.
Microabrasion can be very effective. However, it's important to note that the dentist is removing some enamel from your teeth. This can increase your risk of experiencing tooth sensitivity, since the enamel helps protect the nerves in the teeth from environmental elements. Another drawback is that the teeth can get stained again, depending on your diet, habits (e.g. smoking), and how well you take care of your teeth.
Another option for dealing with white spots on teeth is to opt to have your teeth covered with porcelain veneers. This is a good choice if the stains are too great to be treated using dental microabrasion or if that particular remedy is contraindicated for some reason.
Veneers are essentially a shell made from porcelain that's fitted over and sealed to the tooth. Typically, the dentist will shave off a few millimeters of enamel to make room for the veneers, place the dental appliance, and then shape it so that it looks natural.
The primary benefit of this option is that the veneer will typically completely cover the affected tooth, hiding stains. Another benefit is veneers can be used to correct other issues at the same time, such as teeth that are too short or that have chips in them.
However, veneers are usually only appropriate for front teeth, as they can break under the force exerted by molar teeth during chewing. They can also cost anywhere from $1,100 to $1,300 per tooth and may not be covered by dental or health insurance. In contrast, dental microabrasion may cost between $100 and $285 per tooth.
There are other ways to fix white spots on teeth. Contact a knowledgeable cosmetic dentist for more information about these and other options.